Bengal silent on land for gas project
The Bengal government today announced that the state-owned Greater Calcutta Gas Supply Corporation would form a joint venture with the Gas Authority of India Limited to supply piped gas to households but remained silent on how it planned to transport the gas.
“The state cabinet today approved the joint venture in which the Greater Calcutta Gas Supply Corporation will have a 26 per cent equity. Initially, the investment will be around Rs 3,000 crore, but it will go up in the future,” finance and industries minister Amit Mitra said today.
Although the minister said that the project, when implemented, would bring down pollution and provide a cheap alternative to cooking gas, he remained non-committal when asked by this paper if the government intended to lay pipelines and how it planned to make land available for that.
“It’s still not clear how the gas will be brought here…. These days, vehicular transportation of compressed natural gas is also possible. So, let us first prepare the detailed project report,” Mitra told The Telegraph.
Senior officials said the gas would be transported from Gujarat and around 400km of pipelines would have to be laid in Bengal. Although the laying of pipes does not require buying or acquiring land, the officials apprehend that farmers whose land would be dug up might demand money.
“The pipeline will enter Purulia in Bengal through Jharkhand. If the government is still not clear about land, I don’t know how the project will be implemented,” an official said.
According to sources, the government was wary of trouble pertaining to land in the aftermath of the Bhangar flare-up in which two persons were killed during a clash with the police.